2020: A Note from our Managing Director

Today I am pleased to report that despite a truly challenging year for many of us, Pole Star continues to cement its place as a leading provider of technology solutions to the maritime-trade sector.

To achieve this, we have diversified our product portfolio, created sustained thought-leadership through our subject-matter experts, formed trusted alliances with customers and aligned partners alike, engaged and motivated our staff, innovated more than ever before, all the while securing long-term contracts with incredible clients. It has truly been a privilege.

Back in 1998, long before the advent of commercial AIS, we disrupted how the world remotely located ships with Purplefinder, the first ever web-based ship tracking and monitoring system. With further innovation we supported the IMO post-911 as SOLAS contracting governments urgently introduced the SSAS and then LRIT regulations, allowing us to develop associated products and strengthen our bond with the shipping industry and initiate an equally deep and long-lasting relationships with maritime agencies and flag registers.

Twenty two years on, Pole Star’s innovative DNA continues to surface with our provision of PurpleTRAC maritime-KYC services to the wider maritime sector. Our efforts have been gratefully rewarded with multiple industry awards, which on the one hand have been proudly received as a testament to the excellence of my teams involved, and on the other have been humbling to see us punch well above our weight against the traditional industry behemoths.

Today, we service 150 leading financial institutions, 60+ flags and government agencies, and 1200+ shipping companies world-wide, and are now considered to be the ‘gold standard’ in terms of persistent tracking and regulatory compliance, a standard bearer in light of the May 14th release of the US Sanctions Advisory to the Maritime Sector (detailing clear and unambiguous guidance to address illicit shipping and sanctions evasion practice). 

Many of the worlds’ largest asset, trade, and commodity financing institutions along with commodity trading & shipping firms, shipowner / operators, ship managers, charterers, flags, and ports rely on Pole Star and PurpleTRAC to ensure their compliance in this most complex and fast moving of landscapes.

Despite our changing world, Pole Star has expanded its global reach, client base, and associated revenues to the extent that I am pleased to report again, following previous year trends, that we have exceeded our targets and achieved 16% ARR growth during FY 2019-20, with a 17% increase in operating profit. 

Our goal to advance technologies for a safer, more secure, and sustainable world is more important than ever today, with our teams working tirelessly to digitise and simplify complex maritime processes, ultimately helping maritime trade navigate these stormy seas. 

I look forward to seeing what 2021 brings for us. 

Julian Longson, Managing Director